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Old 10-29-2013, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Holly Neighborhood, Austin, Texas
3,958 posts, read 6,185,239 times
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I don't really see this as a problem since they have been there all along. To the cat owners I would just say keep your cats indoors if you don't want to be a victim of Darwinism. Travis Heights Coyote Population Threatened by City | City News | Austin Post
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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Ofc, they were feeding them cats .
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Old 10-29-2013, 01:33 PM
 
10,152 posts, read 18,636,579 times
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We deal with this problem constantly in my neighborhood. The article is completely wrong about the city's coyote program. They do not intend to remove the population entirely, that's never, ever been the case.

Texas Wildlife Services does the trapping, they use humane traps (not steel jaw) and then euthanize. Their goal is to trap maybe 1 or 2 coyotes only in "hot" areas where a den is suspected to be close to a populated area. Then the den/pack will move on their own, hopefully to a more suitable greenbelt area. TWS identifies the "hot" areas through reported sightings to 311, and they use a rating scale to determine how severe the encounter (how aggressive the coyotes were). It's a very targeted and reasonable program, but for some reason both sides of the coyote issue never bother to learn about it and just jump to conclusions. Articles like this one do not help.
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Old 10-30-2013, 10:59 PM
 
4,711 posts, read 6,593,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atxcio View Post
We deal with this problem constantly in my neighborhood. The article is completely wrong about the city's coyote program. They do not intend to remove the population entirely, that's never, ever been the case.

Texas Wildlife Services does the trapping, they use humane traps (not steel jaw) and then euthanize. Their goal is to trap maybe 1 or 2 coyotes only in "hot" areas where a den is suspected to be close to a populated area. Then the den/pack will move on their own, hopefully to a more suitable greenbelt area. TWS identifies the "hot" areas through reported sightings to 311, and they use a rating scale to determine how severe the encounter (how aggressive the coyotes were). It's a very targeted and reasonable program, but for some reason both sides of the coyote issue never bother to learn about it and just jump to conclusions. Articles like this one do not help.
Wow! This really is not a reasonable program. Have they no knowledge at all of the natural patterns of coyote packs? If you kill one animal, most likely the alpha male or female, because they range most widely, the pack will respond by allowing the subordinate females to reproduce. (In an intact pack, only the alpha male and female reproduce, the others are mostly babysitters and do some hunting.) So study after study shows that killing a few members of a pack causes population increases, not decreases and not moving away. You talk about the "two sides" not bothering to learn about it, but apparently neither has the Texas Wildlife Service. I agree that if a coyote is aggressive to humans, they will have to kill it. But this has almost never happened. There is no history of a human being killed or seriously hurt by a coyote, except for 2 that I know of, where the people were actually feeding the coyotes, thinking that they were going to "tame" them. Want actual research on coyote natural history and management? Go to
Project_Coyote@mail.vresp.com.
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Old 10-31-2013, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,964 posts, read 42,533,628 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G Grasshopper View Post
Wow! This really is not a reasonable program. Have they no knowledge at all of the natural patterns of coyote packs? If you kill one animal, most likely the alpha male or female, because they range most widely, the pack will respond by allowing the subordinate females to reproduce. (In an intact pack, only the alpha male and female reproduce, the others are mostly babysitters and do some hunting.) So study after study shows that killing a few members of a pack causes population increases, not decreases and not moving away. You talk about the "two sides" not bothering to learn about it, but apparently neither has the Texas Wildlife Service. I agree that if a coyote is aggressive to humans, they will have to kill it. But this has almost never happened. There is no history of a human being killed or seriously hurt by a coyote, except for 2 that I know of, where the people were actually feeding the coyotes, thinking that they were going to "tame" them. Want actual research on coyote natural history and management? Go to
Project_Coyote@mail.vresp.com.
Grasshopper, that link is an email address, not a website. Could you post the actual website link?

We have coyotes out here in the country and they're not a problem and will run like heck if they see you, but we have dogs and donkeys and they pretty much stay on the neighbor's side of the fence as a result.
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Old 10-31-2013, 12:43 PM
 
10,152 posts, read 18,636,579 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G Grasshopper View Post
Wow! This really is not a reasonable program. Have they no knowledge at all of the natural patterns of coyote packs? If you kill one animal, most likely the alpha male or female, because they range most widely, the pack will respond by allowing the subordinate females to reproduce. (In an intact pack, only the alpha male and female reproduce, the others are mostly babysitters and do some hunting.) So study after study shows that killing a few members of a pack causes population increases, not decreases and not moving away. You talk about the "two sides" not bothering to learn about it, but apparently neither has the Texas Wildlife Service. I agree that if a coyote is aggressive to humans, they will have to kill it. But this has almost never happened. There is no history of a human being killed or seriously hurt by a coyote, except for 2 that I know of, where the people were actually feeding the coyotes, thinking that they were going to "tame" them. Want actual research on coyote natural history and management? Go to
Project_Coyote@mail.vresp.com.
Interesting. I do admit, I haven't researched coyote behavior myself, I was thinking more along the lines of people not understanding the TWS program. Whether that program is ill-conceived or not, I can't be sure. After all, they are aggies: Texas Wildlife Services

Without defending them, I will say this is *probably* how they would address your concern (I've heard their spiel many times). First, they do acknowledge that coyote attacks on humans are exceedingly rare. The chances that you will be hurt by a coyote are effectively nil. They say they aren't in the business of coyote population control, only mitigating the coyote-human interaction in urban areas where they probably shouldn't be. What they do is utilize the natural fear that coyotes have of humans to control them. Where they are too close to an urban population, and have lost their fear of humans, trapping one or two will cause the pack to become fearful again and they will leave. While that might lead to more reproducing, it gets them away from the populated area, and the population control is a separate issue that they think will take care of itself through natural cycles and continuing loss of habitat.

Ok, now I feel dirty for making TWS' case for them. I will say that I've always been on the side of "leave them alone, keep your cats and small dogs inside and remember that you moved to the hill country"... but after years of living in the western parts of Austin, I've seen the hysteria they've had to deal with, and after much convincing I accept their program as "reasonable". Or perhaps I've just been worn down.
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
13,076 posts, read 13,727,317 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G Grasshopper View Post
Wow! This really is not a reasonable program. Have they no knowledge at all of the natural patterns of coyote packs? If you kill one animal, most likely the alpha male or female, because they range most widely, the pack will respond by allowing the subordinate females to reproduce. (In an intact pack, only the alpha male and female reproduce, the others are mostly babysitters and do some hunting.) So study after study shows that killing a few members of a pack causes population increases, not decreases and not moving away. You talk about the "two sides" not bothering to learn about it, but apparently neither has the Texas Wildlife Service. I agree that if a coyote is aggressive to humans, they will have to kill it. But this has almost never happened. There is no history of a human being killed or seriously hurt by a coyote, except for 2 that I know of, where the people were actually feeding the coyotes, thinking that they were going to "tame" them. Want actual research on coyote natural history and management? Go to
Project_Coyote@mail.vresp.com.
I just wanted to mention that while rare, there have been two documented predatory attacks by coyotes on human beings, both fatalies. One involved a Canadian folk singer who was approached by two coyotes that attacked her and severely mauled her in a matter of minutes. It was predatory in nature because they had actually consumed her flesh. Granted these were Eastern coyotes that were probably hybrids (with wolves).
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Old 10-31-2013, 05:23 PM
 
4,711 posts, read 6,593,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasHorseLady View Post
Grasshopper, that link is an email address, not a website. Could you post the actual website link?
Oops, I was careless, I think. The organization is www.projectcoyote.org.

Quote:
Originally Posted by riaelise View Post
I just wanted to mention that while rare, there have been two documented predatory attacks by coyotes on human beings, both fatalies. One involved a Canadian folk singer who was approached by two coyotes that attacked her and severely mauled her in a matter of minutes. It was predatory in nature because they had actually consumed her flesh. Granted these were Eastern coyotes that were probably hybrids (with wolves).
Yes, the other one I have heard of was a young child who was taken, and apparently eaten. But the family, including this child, were actively feeding and trying to get close to the coyotes, and had apparently been doing this for some time. Once a coyote sees humans as a food source, the danger increases exponentially. What I heard is that during one of these feeding activities, one of the coyotes just picked up the child and ran. I don't know details; it was a long time ago that I heard this. I know Project Coyote would have documented instances, if one is interested.

Quote:
Originally Posted by atxcio View Post

I will say that I've always been on the side of "leave them alone, keep your cats and small dogs inside and remember that you moved to the hill country"... but after years of living in the western parts of Austin, I've seen the hysteria they've had to deal with, and after much convincing I accept their program as "reasonable". Or perhaps I've just been worn down.
I understand. The general population seems to get all excited about this. But they are very uneducated about it. Many of us live in a wildland/urban interface, even though it may seem like that, and I think accepting the responsibilities and risks of that is necessary if we are to live in peace with nature. I once worked at a location that was "out in the country" but received many visitors. (In California) A crew of construction workers who had a project out there started feeding two coyetes while on their lunch hour. Previously almost unseen by the people around, these coyotes became habituated to humans and started associating them with food. They started approaching cars and people, apparently hoping for hand-outs. Signs were posted everywhere about not feeding or approaching them. The local Audubon sanctuary tried very hard to "un-associate" these coyotes from people. We went out and banged garbage can tops, made lots of noise, and when the coyotes were spotted, harassed them, all to try to reteach them that humans were dangerous. But ultimately, it didn't work. As the coyotes got more and more brave about stealing food from picnic tables, it was clear that this was dangerous. The park service had to hunt down and shoot both of them. There really was no alternative. I still blame those construction workers. They may have done it in ignorance, but they effectively signed the death warrant for those coyotes when they gave them the first sandwich. Same kind of scenario has been played out with bears in campgrounds. If we are going to live peaceably and safely with coyotes and other predators, we have to learn to not feed or approach them in any way, including not feeding them our cats and small dogs, left unattended, pet food or trash. And if we see a coyote in the neighborhood, it is best to try to scare it away (yell, bang things, etc, while keeping your distance) just to reinforce that humans are not good associated of coyotes.
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:09 AM
 
Location: Holly Neighborhood, Austin, Texas
3,958 posts, read 6,185,239 times
Reputation: 2808
Quote:
Originally Posted by riaelise View Post
I just wanted to mention that while rare, there have been two documented predatory attacks by coyotes on human beings, both fatalies. One involved a Canadian folk singer who was approached by two coyotes that attacked her and severely mauled her in a matter of minutes. It was predatory in nature because they had actually consumed her flesh. Granted these were Eastern coyotes that were probably hybrids (with wolves).
Two fatalities is a lot less than some breeds of dogs which still makes me think this whole thing is an overreaction from a neighborhood that is acting more like Lakeway every day.
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Old 11-01-2013, 01:07 PM
 
4,711 posts, read 6,593,293 times
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Originally Posted by verybadgnome View Post
Two fatalities is a lot less than some breeds of dogs which still makes me think this whole thing is an overreaction from a neighborhood that is acting more like Lakeway every day.
That made me smile (having lived in Lakeway for a short time.) And I do agree with you.
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